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Egypt’s Sisi meets with US defence chief

February 16, 2018 at 2:26 pm

US Central Command chief General Joseph Votel [Sean K. Harp/Wikipedia]

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi met yesterday with US Central Command chief Joseph Votel to discuss bilateral “military cooperation”, the president’s office said in a statement.

Al-Sisi and Votel met in Cairo where they addressed “ways to push and advance military cooperation between Egypt and the United States,” the statement added.

They also spoke about recent military and political developments in the Middle East in light of the crises in the region.

Al-Sisi stressed “the importance of strategic relations between Cairo and Washington, especially with regard to military cooperation, in light of the current circumstances that the region is going through which require the combining of all efforts to confront challenges that threaten the entire region’s security and stability.”

With an annual $1.3 billion assistance package, Egypt is the second largest recipient of US military aid after Israel. The aid programme has persisted since Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979 and it was only interrupted with a partial cut under US President Barack Obama, following a military coup that then-defence minister Al-Sisi led against Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president.

Read: Leading US Senator criticises Sisi for political crackdown in Egypt